What's the best way to get inside your opponent's head? Find out what they eat. Merguez anyone? World Cup is on and the American's have a crucial test against Algeria tomorrow. So will the play be spicy? Let's find out.
I looked at a bunch of recipes and I concluded a good Merguez is just lamb and harissa. Harissa is a condiment of peppers garlic and spices used throughout Northern Africa (referred to by some as the Mahgreb).
For the Harissa I re-hydrated some dry red peppers, crushed some garlic,
And toasted some spices.
Everything went into the blender with some olive oil and some water and presto!
Here's the quantities:
10g (25-30) small dry red peppers
12g 2T whole coriander
12g 2tsp whole cumin
24g 4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup 200 ml EV Olive Oil
Cold Water as needed.
The peppers. For better flavor you can toast them in a dry skillet until fragrant, or quickly blanch them in oil. Following either way, soak them in very hot tap water until soft about 15 minutes. Toast and grind the whole spices then throw everything into the blender. Only add cold water if you need to get things moving, up to 2T (30 ML)
Since I'm making this harissa for the sausage, I'm holing off on the salt. If you want to use it as a condiment, salt to taste (TT), my taste is about 1/2tsp (3g)
For the Sausage I use 2tsp (14g) of salt for 2 pounds (900g) of ground lamb. add all of the prepared harissa and 2T (12g) of fresh thyme. Mix well, add a little cold water to smooth it out.
Try to find some sheep's casing to stuff (pork casing are haraam), or make meatballs and call them keftas.
These sausages are spicy but not overly so, my kids ate them. You can serve them with couscous, but I also found a potato pancake (Makoud) recipe that was kinda fun. Sorry Algeria, I love your sausage but I'm going to have to root for the US on this World Cup.
References (all links to WorldCat, so you can find these books at a library near you)
The Great Book of Couscous, by Copland Marks
North African Cooking, by Hilaire Walden
The Soul of a New Cuisine, by Marcus Samuelsson
The Oxford Companion by Davidson